I have a confession.
Sometimes, when I’m alone, I like do things upside down. Literally. As in standing-on-my-head type of upside down. And my activities can include all sorts of things. Like having phone conversations. Thinking about important tasks. Solving problems.
Sound crazy? Perhaps it is. But I remember reading somewhere that changing your position can change your perspective. And it usually works, but for the past few weeks, it hasn’t done anything for me except make my toes tingle.
But wait. Let me tell you how I got to the tingly toes.
I had been trying to edit a story that I’m working on—a story that I loved initially—but after several rounds of revisions, was starting to work my last damn nerve. I had squinted at the words I’d already written, looked at my computer sideways, even tried brushing a few strokes with an old dusty typewriter, and then finally started folding airplanes with the paper from which I’d printed the rough drafts. When all of that failed to inspire me, I went upside down and stared at one of those paper planes until I could hardly breathe—but still, I had gotten nowhere. I was afraid that I had lost my excitement and love for storytelling, and that there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. So I panicked and did what any self-respecting woman would do while in the middle of a career identity crisis:
I packed up my shit and went to the beach.
Apparently those paper planes were giving me some ideas after all.
Fast forward a few days, I found myself napping in the Caribbean sand. It had been a perfect day, by my standards. I had watched the sun come up, sipped a few pina coladas, and then watched the sun set. The stars were beginning to show themselves as I was packing up my beach bag and dusting the sand off of my behind. It was then when I looked up to say goodnight moon that I noticed a very visible planet Venus and a couple of constellations in the sky. As a lover of astronomy, I spent the next few seconds tracing dot-to-dot patterns through the heavens, suddenly reminded that my life and my work is orbiting around my Creator just as those celestial bodies are, even while so far away.
That night, the answers to my creative writing struggles came to me in a dream. I returned home a few days later, renewed and excited to sit in front of my computer again.
I am happy to tell you that I am back in love—totally in love—with my now finished story. And I believe that once you see it, you’ll fall in love with it, too.
The moral of this story is that if, by some weird chance, you find yourself stuck in a rut and needing a change in perspective, you should skip the headstands and go straight to the airport.
Your toes will thank you later.